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Installing Windows Vista RC1 in VMWare Workstation

September 14th, 2006 by kenlin@HK [MVP]


If you are trying to install Windows Vista RC1 in VMWare Workstation, you may see setup appear to hang on the text-mode screen that says “Windows is loading files…”.

Actually what has happened is that Vista Setup is already in graphics mode trying to do things, but something about the way it switches the display adapter into graphics mode is not working right on VMWare.

Since Microsoft makes a competitive product, Virtual PC, this is funny that they come out with a major new test release(Windows Vista RC1) that just not work on VMWare Workstation. Or Product team did not test this product with VMWare Workstation? But in my memory, I can recall that Microsoft also using VMWare Workstation before Microsoft has bought VirtualPC.

After researching, I found that there is a workaround, for now, while VMWare works on the problem. Before you install Windows Vista RC1 to VMWare Workstation, you may edit the virtual machine’s .vmx to include the following,

svga.maxWidth = “640”
svga.maxHeight = “480”

You can get Vista installed in VGA 16 color 640×480 mode (it will look awful) and then when you get everything running, install VMWare tools and take out those two lines and you’ll be good to go.

Posted in Bugs, Virtual Machine, Windows Vista | 8 Comments »

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 14th, 2006 at 1:47 am and is filed under Bugs, Virtual Machine, Windows Vista. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

8 Responses

  1. Windows Vista Inside » Blog Archive » Windows Vista RC1 vmware install workaroud Says:

    […] I’ve installed windows vista rc1 on my laptop and I’m going to install it on my desktop. Since I want to take some installation screenshots, it might be a good idea to install it on virtual machine. I stumbled upon this article, Installing Windows Vista RC1 in VMWare Workstation, and it said it won’t be installed unless you apply workaround. The workaround is to adjust resolution actually. Maybe next week I’ll try it. […]

  2. Ryan Says:

    FYI, I installed vista rc1 under vmware server with no issues at all. VMWare Server is free.

  3. Patrick S Says:

    So is virtual Server

  4. kenlin@HK [MVP] Says:

    Yes, VMWare Server doesn’t have this problem.
    And sure Virtual PC and Virtual Server don’t have such problem too.

  5. Ariel Rivera Says:


  6. Depeche Says:

    I’m actually not getting that message for an error. i’m getting something that says that no device drivers were found and to browse to where the cd/dvd drivers are. i’m using the .iso image of vista as the boot drive. any suggestions?

  7. Shaker Says:

    This is probably a dumb question, but how do you edit the .vmx file? I see no where to edit video preferences anywhere. No place to add resolutions. Using VMWare 5.5.1 build 19175. Thank’s for any help you can provide.

  8. Satyaki Says:

    In case you have not found the method already, open the vmx file in text mode using notepad and make the entries. It works nicely.